“He who moves not forward, goes backward”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“No, I’m not leaving Ilocos,” says Janer Santos, Ilocos Norte’s premier tattoo artist, and owner of Tattoo de Iloco. “I’m just putting up another shop in Sucat, Parañaque, which means that I’ll be shuttling back and forth between Laoag and Manila,”
So, well, there you have it, folks. We’re not losing one extremely talented guy just yet.I’ve seen Janer grow as an artist. In fact, I did a lengthy interview with him way back when I was a newbie blogger. I’m happy that his new studio (in Laoag) is four times bigger than his old space just a few doors away.
“I worked for a brief period at Wildside to occupy a slot vacated by my good friend Michael Angelo Bayot, but I felt I wasn’t given enough opportunities to practice my craft,” Janer says, matter-of-factly. Wildside, I came to know, is the studio where Pacman had himself inked. Knowing how Janer loves work, that stint at Wildside must have been tough for him. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.
Janer says that it is not enough to be skilled as a tattoo artist. He joins competitions from time to time to enrich himself. “I like the challenge it brings. Seeing the works of other artists here and abroad is a learning experience in itself. The new breed, they are really very good.”
In his more than four years as a tattoo artist, Janer has won numerous awards. His most memorable competition — he took the ninth spot in the front/back category of the Dutdutan Festival, the country’s grandest tattoo exposition.
Janer’s ability to remain humble is the best thing about him. At Tattoo de Iloco, he shares the stage with two young artists — Gerome Malbas and Mark Benedict Torres. I asked him what advice can he give to striving tattoo artists. He replies, “Proper hygiene — safe practices should be foremost. And they should apprentice under professionals.”
About the current cool, he says, “Traditional icons are coming back, but the treatment is new school.”
In his free time, the tattoo artist skates, skimboards, goes around town on his chopper bike or shreds the dunes in La Paz.
Tattoo de Iloco opens on October 1 in Sucat, Parañaque, right across the Olivares College and Hospital.
Janer Santos CP#: 09203466607
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved